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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  May 23, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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restaurants nearly half of them tgi fridays were pouring cheap booze into premium bottles passing it off as high end and pocketing savings. the fridays restaurants nailed are owned by a single franchiseee and now corporate is having a word with that group. that's it for "the lead" and i leave you now with wolf blitzer in "the situation room." thanks very much. happening now the enormous task of recovery here in oklahoma. we're watching what's going on. this recovery made tougher today by torrential rain and flooding. we'll hear from people determined to move ahead including one man feeling survivor's guilt as he calls it. his home is still standing while those around it were leveled. london on the alert right now for more terror after a british soldier is brutally hacked to death by two men armed with meat cleavers. a friend of one of the suspected killers talks to cnn. president obama says america must define the fight against
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terrorism or else it will define us. those are his words. but he defends drone strikes and defends himself against a protester as well. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin this hour with a bitter sweet and touching reunion here in moore, oklahoma. this is the last day of school before summer vacation starts. but because of monday's tornado, some teachers and students have no schools to go back to. as cnn's ed lavandera reports they did get together anyhow. ed is joining us now live. >> reporter: well, their classrooms have been blown to pieces and they have no school to go to but the students at briarwood elementary school and also plaza towers elementary school were invited to go to other schools nearby where they could get together for one last time before the start of summer vacation. for many of these students, and
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parents and teachers, it was really the first time that they'd had a chance to get together and talk about what they've been going through the last few days. the last time they had seen each other when everyone was going their separate ways in the chaos and the frantic moments after the tornado struck, made direct hits on those schools. we found a little girl by the name of holly hebert. we watched her come out of the meeting today with her teachers clutching a little stuffed lion bear that she had been given after this meeting with her teachers at that school. it was poignant because she told us, we asked her the name of the lion and she said she had given it five names. the names of five friends that were killed in this tornado. were you happy to be with your friends here today? >> yeah. >> what did you guys talk about? >> we just didn't really talk about nothing. we just gave hugs. >> reporter: been a real bad week huh? >> mm-hmm. >> reporter: what do you guys
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tell each other? >> well, we saw a lot of friends today, too, that were in our classes, were in different classes, though, and we saw our friends from classes and some of her friends in her class died. >> reporter: in whose class? >> mine. >> reporter: in your class? >> yeah. seven. >> reporter: you knew all of them? >> i only knew five. >> four. >> five. >> yeah. so far. >> we don't know the other names. >> the other two names. >> reporter: really hard to deal with i bet. you miss them? >> yeah. >> reporter: what do you want to tell your teacher? have you had a chance to talk to her? >> yeah. we went to go see her yesterday in the hospital. >> reporter: you did. >> twice. >> reporter: was she happy to see you? >> yeah. she was crying. >> reporter: she was crying? >> yeah. >> reporter: because you came to see her? what did she tell you? >> she just told us that she is glad that we're still alive and okay. >> reporter: are you coming to
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see your teacher? >> yes. >> reporter: why do you want to see your teacher? >> because i love her very much and she is my favorite teacher. >> reporter: did you tell me she had to go to the hospital? >> yes. she is at the hospital. >> reporter: is she going to be okay? >> yeah. she's okay. she's just hurt. >> reporter: she's just hurt? >> yeah. >> reporter: she'll be okay? >> yeah. >> reporter: what grade are you in? you seem like a seventh grader. >> i'm in first. >> reporter: you're in first grade? you're a pretty smart first grader. so were you at the school when everything happened? >> no. i was at my nana and grandpa's shelter. >> reporter: they came to get you? >> yeah. >> reporter: how scary was all of this for you? >> it was very terrifying. >> reporter: and what do you want to tell your teacher? >> i'm going to tell her that i'm glad you're okay and that i'm going to give you this card. >> reporter: i bet she'll be really happy to see you. >> yes. >> reporter: you're anxious to see her? >> mm-hmm. >> reporter: all right. you go give her a big hug. >> okay. wolf, can't tell you how many
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cute kids we had a chance to speak with today. also had a chance to speak with many of their parents. obviously the thing we talked about was how they're doing in these recent days and how do they prepare their kids to tell them that a couple of their classmates, several classmates have been killed. what we heard is everyone kind of dealing with that in their own ways and trying to figure that out as we go forward. some parents told us that some of the kids were struggling with nightmares and having a hard time expressing themselves as you might expect. all very natural. but this meeting, this chance today to be able to hug and say good-bye, lots of tears today, wolf, for the teachers, students, and parents that really got a first chance today to sit down together and go over everything they have been through in the last few days. wolf? >> understandably very, very emotional, ed. thanks for sharing those stories with our viewers. officials now estimate that 12,000 homes, let me repeat that number, 12,000 homes were destroyed or damaged by the tornado. some people of course got hit
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harder than others. and that has one of the luckier survivors feeling pretty bad. cnn's brooke baldwin is here with me in oklahoma. you know, we walk around this subdivision here, home after home after home brooke. >> yes. >> leveled. >> it is interesting, what people can't see is where we're standing. in front of us, this home is here at least the brick and mortar of the home but on the other side as you can see it's totally leveled. and we've talked to so many people whose homes are absolutely destroyed and they're talking to us about how they're rebuilding. i met a man who actually lives in this neighborhood. jackie singh. his home is still standing. he had a different story to tell, a truly selfless story, because he told me through tears that he wishes his home was gone because there is a newborn and a young parent just across the street and their home is gone and so if he could trade places with them he told me he would. watch this. >> i almost wish i was on that
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side of the street and everything was gone and they were over here because of their brand new babies. i mean -- >> reporter: you wish your home was destroyed. >> i kind of do. might be better to have those people over here and us over there because we have something and they have brand new babies a and -- sorry. i don't know what to say. i just -- help me, lord. help me, god. i'm sorry. >> reporter: don't apologize. don't apologize. >> it's been a rollercoaster.
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the past 72 hours. walking through our house the past couple days makes us realize what's valuable and what's replaceable. beyond the sorrow and grief and hurt i feel this ray of sunshine in me right now. >> reporter: ray of sunshine despite -- >> yeah. >> reporter: despite the thunder. >> yeah. >> reporter: despite the storms. >> just the hope of what god has for us. >> reporter: thank you, jackie, so much. >> you're welcome. i appreciate the time and the outpouring of love. there's been so many people come through that have been so friendly and so giving and their hearts are wide open to help all of us that are devastated and it's a tremendous feeling. >> just speaking to him, the interview, the emotion but bringing it back to this positive notion that, look, we have our lives and our health. he has two kids, a wife, his
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kids went back to school today to be able to talk to, you know, their fellow students about what they've experienced but the one thing that really struck me is when he first invited us into his home because he still has, you know, running water. we were washing our hands. you know what he said? he said, excuse the mess. >> several people said that to me. >> excuse the mess. >> as i was walking around. it's -- >> offering us water. they've lost their homes. >> people are so nice here and they seem to like the news media. they say nice things to us. >> yeah. >> they're grateful we're showing the world. >> sharing their stories. the okey hospitality as they call it. >> so nice. >> thanks, wolf. >> thanks very much. we'll have a lot more on what is going on in this sub division. i took a walk around. we'll show the viewers. house after house after house. >> yes. >> hard to convey the extent of the destruction here in moore, oklahoma, or the sense of loss that people are experiencing. one way to see the storm's impact is to look down at this area from space. our tom foreman put together
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some before and after satellite images. tom is joining us now live. these images are pretty drastic. >> they really are, wolf. you can see the extent of it from here. this is a picture of moore before the storm hit from google earth and now look at this area right through here as we change the screen. you see all of that? you see all of that brown area through there? that is where the storm just laid waste to everything around it. and now look what's along that path. there's the briarwood elementary school. there's plaza towers elementary school. moore medical center and neighborhood. look at the details. you can tell a lot when we do. if you look at this house right here, that's briarwood school right over there. this photograph was taken from right about here on the street. you see the houses intact, the school. right about here. think about what you just saw. and now look at the change to this neighborhood when that storm came through. unbelievable destruction in this full area from what you saw just a moment ago. let's move on and look at plaza
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towers elementary school where they had the terrible, terrible loss of life. this is the street with that school before the storm hit. this is an overhead view of the neighborhood and that school once again look at the difference now in the images as we sweep forward. look at all of those houses and the school. this is virtually unrecognizable from anything you would have seen before. move on to the medical center over here. this is another one we've had a lot of focus on. this building more than anything else that was hit out there had the robust architecture to help it fight the storm and yet even here look at what happened. overhead view of the medical center before. overhead view of the medical center now. you can see the houses again wiped out over here. medical center itself. there is one last thing i want to show you, wolf. if you look out here in this neighborhood this is important to look at. this is an overview of just one of the typical neighborhoods that was hit and it shows you the capricious nature of this storm. these houses all are about 40 feet apart, a beautiful
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community. everything is in place. and look what the storm did. as it came through, completely and utterly destroyed, destroyed. and then half the house taken and down here virtually no damage at all. this is the capricious nature of these storms, and this is what has so many people there in shock and wondering exactly how it happened. how does it happen that one house here is taken off its foundation and just a very, very, very short distance away truly a stone's throw another house virtually untouched, wolf? it is one of the mysteries of these storms and one that a lot of people there as you know are grappling with. wolf? >> powerful to see it from space and there are pictures before and after even more powerful on the ground to walk around in a neighborhood and see it up close. as i said, we'll have a lot more of what i saw here today and i want to share it with our viewers. much more from oklahoma coming up. also here in "the situation room" today, you saw the
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suspected killer of the british soldier, a meat cleaver in his bloody hands, speaking out about the attack. now a friend speaks out to cnn, calling him, quote, a very caring man. president obama defends drone strikes overseas. so why does he want more rules for the fight against terrorism? much more on the president's important speech today and a lot more news all coming up. [ male announcer ] erica had a rough day. there was this and this. she got a parking ticket... ♪ and she forgot to pay her credit card bill on time. good thing she's got the citi simplicity card. it doesn't charge late fees or a penalty rate. ever. as in never ever. now about that parking ticket. [ grunting ] [ male announcer ] the citi simplicity card is the only card that never has late fees, a penalty rate, or an annual fee, ever.
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hey, thanks for stopping by. you know, i've followed your character since the first episode. i'm a big fan, big, big fan... thank you. listen, your storyline makes for incredible tv drama. thing is, your drug use is very adult content. too adult for the kids. so, i'm gonna have to block you. aw, man. yeahh... well. have a good one. you're a nice lady. we'll have much more from moore, oklahoma. the devastation is oh, so terrible. house after house, cars like this one simply thrown through the air into a neighbor's house.
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we'll have much or on what is going on with the recovery effort and survival stories from oklahoma coming up. other important news we're following here in "the situation room" including the british prime minister david cameron. he says his nation will never give in to terror. london is on alert right now with more searches and more arrests being carried out after a soldier, an army drummer was brutally hacked to death in broad daylight. with butcher's knives in his bloody hands one suspect was recorded as he spoke almost casually about the attack saying it was a response to the deaths of muslims. we're now learning much more about that man. our senior international correspondent dan rivers is joining us now live from london. dan, you had a chance to speak with a friend of this suspect. what did you learn? >> reporter: that's right. a fascinating insight, wolf, into michael adebeljar's life. he has clearly been known to the
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intelligence services. they were aware of him and his accomplice for quite sometime. he is now clearly known in extremist circles here as you'll discover in my report. of course now he is known around the world after his blood-soaked image made front page news. his bloodied image is already seared into our brains. brandishing the meat cleaver and knife he used to kill a british soldier. but who is he? his friend shows much of his extremist ideology and says he has known him for more than seven years. >> he's always been very vocal and very concerned about the affairs of muslims and people being oppressed and he could never tolerate anybody to really be oppressed without saying anything and i'm sure was very frustrated and helpless when he couldn't. as a person he was always very caring, very concerned. he's always had a heart for other people. he just wanted to help
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everybody. >> reporter: he was a fixture at islamist rallies like this one in london in 2007. he is understood to have converted to islam from christianity four years earlier. british of nigerian descent he studied at this school in essex and married in 2006, a marriage which abu baraa was unable to attend because he was in prison for encouraging muslims to kill british soldiers in iraq. >> reporter: would you condemn what he did? >> he would condemn the cause of this which is the british foreign policy. britain has taken these people, the public to war and taken its soldiers to war knowing full well that war is a violent practice and people get killed in war. soldiers are in full knowledge they could get killed. so britain is the one responsible. the government. and i believe all of us as the public, we are responsible. we should condemn ourselves.
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why would we not do enough to stop these wars going on in iraq and afghanistan? >> reporter: but you wouldn't condemn his actions? >> i would only condemn the one who is the cause of this, the aggressor, the occupier, which is the british government, the british troops. >> reporter: but it is this young soldier drummer lee rigby who has paid the price for such extremism. cnn understands spies at the british security service mi-5 based here in central london were aware of adebelajo and his accomplice while investigating other terrorist plots but there was nothing to indicate either man were about to strike in such an appalling way. wolf, there have been more arrests in this fast moving police investigation. a man and a woman both 29 years old have been arrested in south london. meanwhile, police in london and further north of the capital in lincolnshire have been searching properties as they try and work out whether the two men were acting alone or whether there is
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any wider terrorist network involved. >> is there a sense on the streets there, a fear? what is the mood? >> i think we've grown used sadly in london to the threat of terrorism here perpetually. i think the savagery with which this attack was carried out and the way the two men hung about afterwards boasting about what they'd done, almost wanting to be filmed waiting for the police has really shocked a lot of people. i think there is a concern that this is impossible for the intelligence services and the police to prevent. they can't ban people from buying knives or stop this kind of attack. all they can do is try and get for example armed forces personnel to be extra vigilant as they leave their bases. >> i'm sure they will be. dan rivers in london for us, thank you very much. more on this story later. also coming up how president
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obama handled a surprising interruption today at an important national security speech he was delivering. you'll want to hear what he told this woman. also, brad pitt reveals he may be getting tested for a very unusual disorder. stay with us here in "the situation room." i am an american success story. i'm a teacher. i'm a firefighter. i'm a carpenter. i'm an accountant. a mechanical engineer. and i shop at walmart. truth is, over sixty percent of america shops at walmart every month. i find what i need, at a great price.
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there is a deadly spill over from the civil war in syria. mary snow is monitoring that and some of the other top stories here in the situation room. what's going on? >> wolf, for days now we've been seeing clashes between supporters and opponents of syrian leader bashar al assad in
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lebanon. 16 people have been killed and at least 156 wounded. analysts warn the violence could destabilize all of lebanon. the city that's seen the worst violence is quiet today but only because people are afraid of going outside due to snipers. here in the u.s. unsettling news for east coast residents. the government's predicting an above normal hurricane season in the atlantic including three to six major storms with 100-mile-per-hour sustained winds. in all, forecasters say the atlantic could see 13 to 20 named storms this year. on the other hand, they say the pacific will have a below normal hurricane season. you probably recognize this guy. but while actor brad pitt may have one of the most recognizable faces in the world, he tells "esquire" magazine he has such a hard time remembering the faces of people he meets. he may actually get tested for a
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disorder called face blindness. his fiance angelina jolie recently revealed she had a double mastectomy because her dna put her at a greatly elevated risk of breast cancer. wolf? >> mary snow reporting for us. mary, thanks very much. up next, president obama defends drone strikes against terror suspects and defends himself against the heckler. and a popular horse farm and petting zoo that was destroyed by the tornado and now people who feel close ties to the place they loved to visit are volunteering to rebuild it.
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devastation at a beloved farm and what people are doing to help. in our next hour a new mom reunites with the nurses who stayed by her side while she gave birth during the tornado. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." a day after his administration disclosed four americans have been killed over the years in drone strikes overseas, president obama today defended that secret campaign. but the president also called for tighter rules in the fight against terrorism saying and i'm quoting we must define the nature and scope of the struggle or else it will define us. after major successes against al qaeda and its allies president obama says america now stands at a crossroads. listen to this. >> we have to make decisions based not on fear but on hard-earned wisdom.
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that begins with understanding the current threat that we face. today the core of al qaeda in afghanistan and pakistan is on the path to defeat. their remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us. they did not direct the attacks in benghazi or boston. they've not carried out a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11. instead, what we've seen is the emergence of various al qaeda affiliates. any u.s. military action in foreign lands risks creating more enemies. and it impacts public opinion overseas. moreover, our laws constrain the power of the president. even during war time. and i have taken an oath to defend the constitution of the
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united states. the very precision of drone strikes and the necessary secrecy often involved in such actions can end up shielding our government from the public scrutiny that a troop deployment invites. it can also lead a president and his team to view drone strikes as a cure all for terrorism. for this reason i have insisted on strong oversight of all lethal action. over the last four years my administration has worked vigorously to establish a framework that governs our use of force against terrorists. insisting upon clear guidelines, oversight, and accountability that is now codified in presidential policy guidance that i signed yesterday. >> let's take a closer look at what the president had to say. joining us now our chief plepan
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with tom juneau of "esquire" magazine. what do you make of the timing of the president's speech today? why did he decide today was an important day to deliver this speech? >> i think in general, wolf, the administration determined it had reached the point of diminishing returns with the drone program at least at the height of the drone program. what they see is the left increasing its criticism. they see it is beginning to backfire if you will. that it might be producing more enemies than it is taking out overseas so it's facing international problems. and they need them less. we can see that by the number of drone strikes has diminished a lot since their hay day a couple years ago. what we have is a war that's about to end and a president that wants to keep the drone program in a different formation and in order to do that he needs a legal basis. i think legally and politically the drone program had come to a
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point of diminishing returns and needed to recalculate to get back the strength. having said that, i think there was a lot less here than meets the ear. this seemed to be far more a defense of past drone use than it was of great big changes in future drone use. he sort of set the table for the future rather than actually outlining it. tom, you wrote an important article in "esquire" the lethal presidency of president obama. that was the title. you know a lot about the use of drones. what the president is up to. like candy i listened to the speech closely. it sounded more like a justification of current u.s. policy than any change in u.s. policy but i'm anxious to get your assessment. >> yeah. i was a little bit surprised. the speech was sort of advertised as a departure point. the president himself said we're at a crossroads right now. in fact, the speech was entirely consistent with the defenses
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that the administration has put forth over the last year and a half. it's entirely consistent with speeches already given by eric holder, j. johnson, and especially willi brennan. really the biggest difference in the speech that i saw was that it was -- he didn't have a proxy do it. it was the president himself giving the speech. that's what made it an interesting speech. >> obviously much more important speech since he is the president of the united states. gloria, the speech seemed to be addressed more to the president's critics on the left. many of whom don't like the drone policy than to those on the right. i'm anxious for your thoughts. >> well, clearly, the president was getting a lot of pushback on the left about drones as candy was saying. what we don't know from this speech is whether in fact the use of drones is going to be more transparent. the direction of the use of drones is going to apparently shift from the central
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intelligence agency to the pentagon. we don't know if that will make it anymore transparent. what is new here is that the president also said, look. i do believe we need some oversight of drones. although as he gave some ideas he kind of told everyone why those ideas might not work because in real time if you have a review board, for example, it might take longer to make a decision. he did defend drones as tom was saying but he also made the point that, okay. you need to know we have guidelines here and we have guidelines that say we need to have near certainty, near certainty that no civilians will be affected and, also, that the people we are targeting have to present a continued and imminent threat to the united states. he didn't go off and say he's not going to use drones anymore. as you all know most of the american public is actually in favor of drones. >> tom, let me go back to you.
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one of the issues that heckler, that protester raised today at the president's speech was the drone strike that killed anwar al awlaki's son. being an american citizen. listen to this exchange the president had with the protester. >> how about -- >> when we -- we went -- is that the way we treat a 16-year-old -- >> we went on -- >> -- awlaki. tell the muslim people their lives are as precious as our lives? can you take the drones out of the hands of the cia? can you -- >> we're addressing that, ma'am. >> apologize to the thousands of muslims that you have killed. will you compensate the innocent family victims? that will make us safer here at
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home. i love my country. i love the rule of law. >> you've reported extensively on this. what was your take on this exchange? >> well, you know, the president did a pretty remarkable job i thought turning some of that criticism aside and using that to his advantage. nobody has ever accused the president of being a poor public speaker, not able to handle himself in front of a microphone. the thing that struck me about the speech is that the defenses of the drone programs are also announcements of the limitations on the drone program. the president will always say that this is a very limited program. he will always say we're trying to cut down the amount of civilian deaths. he will always say that really there has to be an imminent threat involved. the administration has been saying this for the last year and a half and meanwhile the drone program, until just recently, has continued a pace,
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has continued on a fairly expansive frame and it's not that dozens or hundreds of people have been killed by it but rather thousands. i think that is the thing that is not really addressed in most of the conversations and certainly not in today's conversation. >> thanks for joining us. candy of course is going to have much more on this sunday morning on "state of the union" 9:00 a.m. eastern. thanks very much. just ahead, a closer look at what i saw today when i arrived in this part of oklahoma. this neighborhood right outside of oklahoma city. the sub division destroyed. plus the woman in the middle of the irs firestorm takes the 5th. but will she have to testify anyway? but first, here is dr. sanjay gupta with a preview of this weekend's next list. this week on "the next list" eye of the deer.
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inventor of the next generation of legos called little bits. >> each little bit is a preassembled, preengineered electronic module that has one specific function. one thing i noticed is that the colors are very gender neutral. they're not all pink. they're not all blue. >> there is a hidden agenda that i really believe that we have to work harder to get girls interested in science and technology but i don't believe in producing products for girls or for boys. i think that the intention here was that little bits were not going to be designed for boys. that was a deliberate decision and automatically they became gender neutral. i am an engineer and i'm the founder of little bits. >> watch how she is revolutionizing how kids learn about technology this saturday 2:00 p.m. eastern on "the next list." ♪ bonjour
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almost every major city in the united states has beautiful sub divisions in the suburbs. block after block beautifully laid out home after home. my dad was a home builder in buffalo, new york. i am very familiar. as i walked around this neighborhood here today in moore, oklahoma, my heart began to sink. we'll take a little walk on
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stone ridge drive and this is what's left of these homes. nothing. i'm just -- it is so heart breaking to see all these people who are just going through the rubble looking for photo albums, looking for something, have trying to clean up. it's just, if you take a look over here at this house, completely, completely destroyed. this house over here the same. all of these homes were once homes with families. now there's nothing. nothing left. it's just one huge sub division destroyed. when i say it looks like a war zone and i've been to war zones parts of this look a lot worse than the war zones i've covered over the years. totally, totally heart breaking to see what has happened. people just going from house to house. a lot of volunteers coming in trying to help out and we'll have more on this coming up in our next hour. the stage is also set for a dramatic confrontation back in washington d.c.
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coming up why some republicans now say an irs official gave up her right to take the 5th amendment. plus, a future president as we've never seen him before. all dressed up for his high school prom.'d it go? well, dad, i spent my childhood living with monks learning the art of dealmaking. you've mastered monkey-style kung fu? no. priceline is different now. you don't even have to bid. master hahn taught you all that? oh, and he says to say (translated from cantonese) "you still owe him five bucks." your accent needs a little work. how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed much is the official retirement age. ♪
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this just coming into "the situation room." new fallout from one of the most dramatic moments back in washington. let's go to our chief congressional correspondent dana bash on capitol hill. she has details of an irs official's fate. what are we learning, dana? >> we learned that lois lerner,
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head of the division that did the targeting of tea party groups, has been put on administrative leave. she's actually already been replaced. being bounced from her job may be the least of her worries, because congress wanted her to come back and answer questions yesterday. about the issue that has really sparked bipartisan outrage. >> do you solemnly swear -- >> it was no surprise that a central figure in the irs scandal invoked her fifth amendment rights. >> not testify or any of the questions today. >> what did surprise committee republicans is before saying she would not talk, she did just that. making a lengthy statement, and then professing her innocence. >> i have not done anything wrong. i have not broken any laws. i have not violated any irs rules or regulations. >> republicans pounced, saying lerner waived her fifth amendment rights against
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self-incrimination. >> you don't get to tell your side of the story and not be subjected to cross-examination. >> will you please seek counsel for further guidance on this matter while we wait? >> i will not answer any questions or testify about the subject matter of the committee's meetings. >> gop chairman darrell issa dismissed lerner. issa concluded she did waive her rights not to answer questions and is calling her back. many experts do not think issa is on firm, legal footing. a top lawyer in congress, since has represented many clients called to capitol hill. >> do you think chairman issa is right, that lois lerner waived her fifth amendment rights? >> no, i don't. i think a brieeief prefatory statement is not a waiver. >> for example, former enron ceo ken lay at the height of
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scandal. but he was more subtle about arguing he did nothing wrong. >> one of the fifth amendment's basic functions is to protect innocent men. >> witnesses who invoke the fifth amendment tend no the to say much more. when issa called gsa employee about conferences and excess government spending. >> i respectfully decline to answer based upon my fifth amendment constitution privilege. >> the committee's top democrat argues calling lerner back is a waste of time. >> there's a 99.999% chance that when she comes back in, she'll say the same thing. it undermines the credibility of our committee, and it undermines the credibility of our investigation. >> wolf, it's unclear when chairman issa is going to call her back. if she comes and refuses to answer questions, what the committee could do is hold her in contempt, send this to the full house of representatives. they could have the same vote,
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and that would be referred to the justice department who could actually prosecute her. the reality is, that could take years and the justice department is already involved in its own criminal investigation of this very broad issue, of course, of irs wrongdoing. wolf? >> all right. we'll watch it with you, together, dana. thanks very much. right at the top of the hour, a mother about to give birth, unable to move, and the nurses who risked their lives during the tornado to keep her safe. >> once i felt the floor start shaking, i knew we were getting hit directly. g better. so now i can help make this a great block party. ♪ [ male announcer ] advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day.
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of the tornado disaster here in oklahoma, cnn national correspondent gary tuchman explains. >> reporter: six golden retrievers and their handlers. on a mission to help, in a way only dogs can. this is the children's hospital at the oklahoma university medical center. and these are the comfort dogs. they've come here to comfort. this, becca, and this is ruthie, and this is barnabus, the veteran, three years old. and kai. this is zeke. their name tags are here. i can't always seem them. and lylea is the youngest of the group. she's only 9 months old. she's in training. they're trained and sponsored by lutheran church charities. they show up at national disasters like the oklahoma tornado, to help comfort victims. 8-year-old courtney brown, a second-grade student at the plaza towers elementary school
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fractured her skull in the tornado. >> hello. this is ruthie. >> courtney went to the same school where seven other children were killed. >> did you have peanut butter today? she's sniffing peanut butter. >> no. >> courtney's tad sits beside his daughter, so grateful she's alive. and able to talk to ruthie and ruth ruthie's handler. >> i'm worried about how my school was destroyed. okay. i was on the ground. and i was doing this. and i hit my head on the back and here. >> there you go. >> but it's not only children, and not only victims that comfort dogs visit. many of the doctors and nurses want to see them, too. courtney, who broke her arm before the tornado, said she got to visit with two comfort dogs. ruthie and lylea. >> lylea's only 9 months old.
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she's the same size as ruthie. isn't that amazing? >> i think she's a little smaller. >> but she's still bigger than you. >> true. if she was on two legs. >> maybe she can stand on her two legs and come through the door. >> comforting courtney and plenty of other victims in this hospital. >> i love doggies. >> canine mission accomplished. gary tuchman, cnn, oklahoma city. >> so many stories like that. as i've been hearing this week. it's so powerful to see what is going on. thank gary for that report. happening now, an emotional reunion of tornado survivors. a mother and her newborn thank the nurses who kept them both safe from the storm as she went into labor. plus, you've probably seen the picture.
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now we'll talk to the family photographed during their tornado nightmare. and courage amid gruesome violence. we're going to hear from one of the women who confronted the suspects in the deadly meat cleaver attack in london. i'm wolf blitzer, in moore, oklahoma. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. the world. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- there's been water gushing through some of the tornado wreckage in this town. three days after the devastating storm, the weather has been causing more problems, slowing down recovery efforts. checking the latest developments this hour, there's a chance of more storms in the disaster zone tonight after a day of pounding rain, strong winds and flood warnings. oklahoma's governor says everyone who is feared missing after the twister now is accounted for. and in a step back to daily life, high school graduation ceremonies will go on as planned
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on saturday in oklahoma city. while may 20th was a disastrous day for this town, it's also the birthday of shalea taylor's newborn son. she was in labor when the tornado was ripping down the hospital's walls. and she might not have gotten through it were it not for four heroic nurses. brian todd was there. it was a moment i am sure, brian, you will always remember. >> absolutely, wolf. you were over at that medical center. you saw how decimated that building was, entire walls ripped away. we spoke to one woman who was in labor at the time that the tornado hit, and with the help of four nurses, even though she couldn't get out, she still rode it out. >> how are you? oh, my gosh. look how innocent your boy is. >> a reunion that came seconds and inches away from never happening. four nurses from moore medical center congratulate shayla
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taylor on her newborn son, braydon. six people with a bond that will last the rest of their lives. as the tornado approached town, shayla taylor was in labor on the second floor of the medical center. she was dilated, going through contractions -- >> she had an epidural anesthesia, which meant it numbed her enough she couldn't walk. >> the staff moved her to the hallway as the tornado bore down, then to the more solid wind oh less operating room. the power was knocked out. it was too dangerous to move her anywhere else. >> her baby was not doing the best. so i needed to monitor her baby to see how he was tolerating the birthing process. the only place to do that would be the o.r. >> within minutes, the hospital was hit with massive force. >> now what are you thinking? >> once i felt the floor start shaking, it felt like an earthquake. i knew we were getting hit directly. >> did you think at that moment that you and braydon could survive this? >> i didn't know if we would.
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i was just praying that we would. >> the walls were ripped off the operating room. shayla's husband and the nurses shared these pictures, from where they were hunkered down, a gaping hole to the outside. the tornado still raging. >> i opened my eyes, i could see i-35, and i could see the movie theater. >> with shayla still in labor, nurses cindy popejoy, barbara braptd, bonnie stevens draped their blankets and bodies over her and hung on. >> we were actually on the floor. bonnie the scrub tech was kind of leaned over her a little more. we had blankets and pillows on her and holding ohhen to each other and the bed. >> it worked. the tornado passed without any of them being hurt. about you shayla's husband, who took cover with their 4-year-old son, hadn't abouten allowed to go to his wife and said he didn't know how to get to her. >> they said, no, everybody's out of the building. and i was like, no, my wife is upstairs. >> and there was still danger.
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even though the tornado had passed, floors and ceilings were unstable and there were gas leaks. but jerome taylor and the nurses were able to get shayla on a flat board and down the stairs and out. she was taken to a hospital in norman. within hours, braydon emmanuel taylor was born at a healthy 8 pounds 3 ounces. what do you think of the nurses and what they did? >> those nurses are amazing. you know, they -- they're definitely doing the job they were called to do. you know, to put my life before theirs. i know that's what you're supposed to do. you know, as a nurse. i went to nursing school so i know that's what you're supposed to do. but to be more concerned about me than them, i know that's -- that they're definitely doing the job that they're called to do. >> for this tiny troublemaker -- >> he'll probably sleep through anything now. >> and a final piece of symmetry
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here. shayla taylor just finished nursing school. she says she's always wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse. and this experience just reinforces that. she wants to go through a lot of this again, although not under those circumstances. >> did the nurses have second thoughts about keeping her there? >> they did. the two nurses we spoke to said they came to the conclusion that they had, it was just too dangerous to move her anywhere. she had the epidural and she couldn't walk. they had to just ride it out. they were lucky. >> what an amazing story, brian, thanks very much. many tornado survivors are wondering why they lived when others died. we're learning the deaths of seven of those youngsters at plaza towers elementary school. give us a sense, tom, of what happened inside that school during the storm. >> wolf, we're getting a lot more details of exactly how this shaped up. let's go back to this.
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this is just before 3:00 that afternoon. school is letting out. at that moment, about nine miles southwest this tornado hits the ground and starts sweeping toward moore. parents have been told there was bad weather. they could pick their kids up from the cafeteria where many had gathered. we don't know how many picked them up. that's why nobody knows how many people were in the school at the time the storm hit. we do know this, just past 3:00, everything changed because the emergency sirens started sounding. and the principal and administrators and the volunteers and the teachers all started hustling these kids out in the hallways, and telling them sit along the walls, put things over your heads, protect yourself. they had practiced this sort of thing many, many times. but it sim mr. i was not enough. because at about 3:14, when this storm came sweeping in, the national weather service said, it produced the strongest winds to be found anywhere along its path. 210 miles an hour. and the building simply could not hold up.
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we don't know which order this happened, wolf, but the gymnasium failed, so did all the outbuildings associated with it. the library at one end of the school, the newer part of the building fell apart. then the storm started chewing away at the whole building from the outside. this went on for a long time. this didn't just blow over. for three full minutes, the storm was moving so slowly, it just ate away at this school while teachers inside pushed kids into closets, bathrooms, throwing their bodies over them just to try to keep this disintegrating building from getting at everyone. and now look closely where the walls are, and look at what happened in those three minutes. you can see that almost nothing is left of the school except for the spine of it. you saw where everything was supposed to be. this is all that was left. and if we pull out some of the closer images, you can see how it's hard to imagine anyone survived this. this is one of the hallways that made it through the storm.
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and imagine the punishment you would take sitting in there, from the wind and rain and all of the debris. truly, wolf, that is what made these 20 minutes both terrifying and terrible for the people inside. >> certainly was. tom foreman, thanks very much. the oldest person killed was 70. two babies just four months old. we have more on some of the victims and lives they led. every one of these stories, really amazing. >> it is. wolf, as you and i have been walking around moore for the past couple of days, we've talked to a lot of resilient people say they're used to this, and they can rebuild. but nothing can prepare these families for the loss of their loved ones. worst of all the devastation in monday's tornado were the 24 lives lost. today, their families and neighbors shared stories of the lives they lived and how they
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died. newborn case, just 4 months old, died alongside his mother, megan, as they sought refuge from the storm. case was one of the ten children who died monday. there was also 8-year-old soccer player kyle davis. >> we'll miss him tremendously. but i'll see him again. when it's my turn to make that journey. >> reporter: 9-year-old janay hornsby loved to dance. >> she was a ball of energy. a ball of love. she was the best kid anybody could have had. >> reporter: hornsby and davis died along with five other 9-year-olds at the elementary school. they are an tonia, sydney, emily, nicholas mccabe and christopher lersgg.
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a mother called this girl to say good-bye. >> so devastating. it hurts. everything a girl could want with their mom. >> reporter: and shannon quick, a 40-year-old mother of two. her soul, and those of the other victims, will be celebrated and remembered in moore. the first of the funerals was held today. now, obviously, some really sad stories there, wolf. when i was a sophomore in high school, there was a tornado that went through my hometown and it ripped through some of the high school's grounds. and did kill two people. and people talked for at least a year about how hard it was. but it was nothing like this. >> where was that? >> that was in cincinnati, ohio, in sycamore high school. >> you still remember it vividly all these years later. >> i sure do. >> erip, thanks very much. still ahead, the family in a now famous photograph. they're going to join us live to share their story of surviving the tornado here in oklahoma.
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and a persistent heckleer interrupts the president during an important national security speech. but he said her voice needs to be heard. ♪ [ female announcer ] from more efficient payments. ♪ to more efficient pick-ups. ♪ wireless is limitless. ♪ i am an american i'm a teacher. i'm a firefighter. i'm a carpenter. i'm an accountant. a mechanical engineer. and i shop at walmart. truth is, over sixty percent of america shops at walmart every month. i find what i need, at a great price. and the money i save goes to important things. braces for my daughter. a little something for my son's college fund. when people look at me, i hope they see someone building a better life. vo: living better: that's the real walmart. we're not in london, are we?
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to meeting patient needs... ♪ wireless is limitless. we've got breaking news. the boy scouts of america ending the group's ban on gay youth. we just received an official statement from the boy scouts of america, mary. >> yes, wolf. as our viewers know, this follows months of intense debate. the boy scouts of america has taken a vote. this is 1,400-member national council. they've taken a vote in texas today. voting to allow openly gay youth to join scouting. however, the boy scouts of america will maintain its ban on
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gay adult leaders. and these changes, this policy change is set to take effect on january 1st. wolf? >> i'll just read a line, that the statement has over here, mary. while people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in scouting, going forward our scouting family will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens. america's youth needs scouting. and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve. victor blackwell is also working the story for is. victor, i just want to be precise. this is a major change by boy scouts of america. they are removing the restriction, denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. but it doesn't remove the restriction on adult leaders.
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what else are you learning? >> we've learned that after this vote was actually postponed in february, wolf, the boy scouts of america set out to create this large study to listen to their members, the leaders, their supporters, financial and otherwise, and they learned from their leadership that if this ban would indeed be lifted, that there would be some major changes as it relates to each region. we know that utah and idaho, they believe that almost all of those charter groups, which is sponsored by the mormon church, would leave the organizational together. 97% by their estimate. but the mormon church leadership said they plan to work with the boy scouts of america moving forward. it's important to note that more than 70% of the troops in the boy scouts every america are related to either the mormon church are oh the catholic church. the catholic church has also said that it would stay with the organization. the southern region estimates
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that they will lose $18 million worth of support in the short-term after this is impacting their group, after it goes into effect january 1st. and there are some in the central region who also believe that now that this ban has been lifted, that the organization will struggle as it relates to membership, and finances. but one thing that was considered on both sides of this oar gu argument, if it would be upheld or lifted, that there would be in the short-term a loss of membership. this is a very passionate issue. >> and they say that with the policy, it will only change january 1st, as you point out, allowing the boy scouts of america that transition time needed to communicate and implement this policy with approximately 116 scouting units. thank you. we go live to the hometown of a prish soldier butchered in a london street. we now know his name as well as
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president obama's explaining how he plans to guide america through a crossroads in the fight against terrorism. he delivered a major speech tea back in washington, responding to criticism on several fronts including the use of drone strikes and closing the prison at guantanamo bay in cuba. he was heckled along the way. let's bring in our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin. she watched it all. jessica? >> hi, wolf. with three years left in the oval office and growing criticism from the left, this was a chance for president obama
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to both clarify and redefine his counterterror policy before the history books are written. just months into his second term, president obama made the case for the yet times controversial method used to defend the united states. >> simply put, these strikes have saved lives. >> and he fended off repeated interruptions from a protester. >> can you stop this? >> the voice of that woman is worth paying attention to. >> the president gave his most extensive comments to date on the use of armed drones to target people, his administration decides are terrorists. he offered more detailed than ever before on his decision to kill american citizen anwar. >> he helped oversee the 2010 plot to detonate explosive devices on two u.s.-bound cargo planes. he was involved in planning to blow up an airliner in 2009. >> in the face of growing
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criticism of the drones program -- >> we will stop again. all right. >> pakistan, somalia -- >> mr. obama outlined now official standards that must be met before directing a drone strike. the target must be a member of al qaeda, or an associate. it must be someone the u.s. can't capture. he will consult the host country. the target must pose an imminent threat. and he needs near certainty that no civilians would be killed or injured. do you struggle with this policy? >> oh, absolutely. that's something you have to struggle with. because if you don't, then it's very easy to slip into a situation in which you end up bending rules, thinking that the ends always justify the means. >> the president also recommitted himself to one of his unkept promises, his vow to close the guantanamo bay detention facility. >> today, i once again call on
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congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from gitmo. >> there are 166 detainees still in guantanamo bay, more than half have been cleared for transfer, with a hunger strike under way there the president announced steps that will make it easier to send many of them back to their home countries, including 56 from yemen. it's not good enough for this woman. >> they're on a hunger strike. >> wolf, the president also addressed the uproar over investigations at the department of justice which have caught up journalists in some of their subpoenas. he said his attorney general is doing a 45-day review of their policies that involve journalists, and investigations. so we'll hear more about that on july 12th. he also said that he's willing to work with congress on allowing them more oversight of the drones program. but i should point out his speech also left a lot of
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unanswered questions, including how does he define who the enemy really is, and what is his plan for dealing with those detainees at gitmo whom he determines are just too hard-core and too much of a threat to return to their home country. wolf? >> important questions still outstanding. but an important speech today as well. thanks very much for that report, jessica yellin. up next, a family of tornado survivors, their photograph has been seen around the world. they have an amazing story to tell. we'll speak with them. and we'll also see why there's so much interest in a horse farm that was destroyed by the tornado. people volunteering to rebuild it. a friend under water is something completely different. i met a turtle friend today so, you don't get that very often. seemed like it was more than happy to have us in his home. so beautiful.
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hacking of a military drummer in britain. we're in his hometown where emotions right now are raw. wait until you hear who's slamming anthony weiner as he launches his campaign for new york mayor and tries to come back from scandal. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we now know the name of one of the bloodied men accused of hacking a british soldier to death. this was the horrifying scene in london yesterday. police say this man and another man attacked the soldier with a cleaver, and a knife, in what officials are investigating as an act of terror. we've also learned the name of the victim, lee rigby, a 25-year-old drummer in the british military, who served as a machine gunner in afghanistan. also, the father of a 2-year-old son. cnn's senior international correspondent matthew chance is in rigby's hometown near manchester.
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matthew, what's the reaction there? >> well, what a shock and disbelief, wolf. here in middleton, a town in rockdale, outside manchester, it's up here in northern england. they're all watching this 24 hours ago, this scene taking place inside london. no one thought for one minute it actually came from this street. the family of lee rigby, just a short distance from here, they've asked for us to respect their privacy. some of the neighbors around here are prepared to speak, and they've been telling us about how they came across this news, and what their feelings were when they first heard it. take a listen. when you heard earlier today that this guy was a local, and an officer here, what went through your mind? >> it made me sad when i
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realized who it was. devastated. to think it was one of my neighbors. >> what's been the reaction of the local community here? >> shock. >> as i said, the family haven't been prepared to speak to us. but they have issued a statement, this coming from the ministry of defense in britain. they say this, all he wanted to do when he was a boy was to be in the army. he wanted to live life, to enjoy himself. his family meant everything to him. he was a loving son, husband, father, brother, and uncle, and a friend to many. so you can imagine the grief that that family are going through right now, wolf. >> matthew chance reporting for us. thank you very much. the crime was truly, truly shocking. but so were some of the reactions from witnesses, including a woman who calmly talked to the knife-wielding suspect before police arrived.
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cnn's ateaka shubert has this part of the story. >> the video is shaky and brief, shot by an eyewitness. it shows three women who each in their own way stood up to the two young men who hacked a british soldier to death. first, an unidentified woman kneeling down by the victim's body, apparently praying. then in this video, she's standing with another woman, confronting the blood-soaked killers. it was perhaps what prompted one of the attackers to say this. >> in our land, our women have to see the same. you people will never be safe. your governments don't care about you. >> reporter: it was a surreal scene, many eyewitnesses initially thought it was a road accident, including cub scout leader and mom, ingrid loyale. she jumped down from her bus to offer first aid. before realizing the full horror of what had happened. she spoke to britain's itv news. >> i could see a butcher's
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knife, and -- you know, the ax that butchers use. and blood all over him. i thought, what the heck happened here. obviously i was a bit excited. >> reporter: in this photo, loyale can be seen attempting to talk with one of the suspects. even as he clutches a meat cleaver in his bloodied hands. >> you're not scared for yourself in that situation? >> no. >> why not? >> because there's more mothers with children around. it was more important that i talk to him. and ask him what he wanted. because i thought, well, usually they want something. >> reporter: it was a moment of instinctive courage, amid a scene of terrible bloodshed. cnn, london. that woman was also asked if she had had any kind of training for a situation like this.
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she responded, and i'm quoting her, i used to be a teacher and that can be stressful at times. still ahead, the family in a now famous photograph, they all join us live here in "the situation room" to share their story of surviving the tornado. also, the governor of new york slams anthony weiner and his political comeback campaign for mayor. look what mommy is having. mommy's having a french fry. yes she is, yes she is. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice,
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this photo seen around the world sums up many of the emotions survivors felt in the first minutes and hours after the tornado hit. this shows brierwood elementary
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schoolteacher ladonna leaving the school clearly injured while her husband steve carries their daughter jordan in his arms. the family is joining me right now. i'm thrilled that all of you are here. steve, ladonna, jordan, sydney. guys, how are you? >> we're here. >> i have a little injury. but i'm here. that's the most important thing. >> steve, you're doing all right? >> yeah. we both had some lacerations on our head. she had fractured bone in her cheek. outside of that, scrapes and bruises. very sore. but all in all, i mean, we're lucky to get out the way that we did. >> the girls, you're all doing fine, too? >> yeah. >> walk us through, steve, the picture. because this picture has now been seen around the world. tell our viewers what we're seeing, what was going on? >> well, this is right after we dug ourselves out of the classroom that we were in, with my youngest daughter, who's in
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the picture there. my wife's holding her hand. the other two daughters, they were in different classrooms. we didn't know where they were at. so we had started to search for them. and we come across my oldest daughter first. and then my daughter jordan that i'm holding on to, another teacher came by and brought her to me. and was carrying her. she was complaining about her leg was injured. we were just ecstatic that we'd found our other two kids. because they weren't in the same room we were in when the tornado hit. so we were just elated and scared. and all those things wrapped into one. we were happy. >> and i'm happy, too. you're a teacher at that school. but that was your day off. >> yes. i'm actually a pr e-k teacher's assistant. i took the afternoon off so we could close on our house. >> on that day. >> yeah. >> did you close on the house? >> we didn't, no. >> i would assume you didn't. how is your house? >> it is okay. we get to close tomorrow. >> what did you do when you
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heard what was going on at the school? >> we got an alert on our cell phones. and we knew that we needed to go get the girls. so we went to the school to pick up the girls. and we got there. and my class was in the hall where we practiced our tornado drills. and i told steve, i said, i can't leave them. and so i got down, and i started rubbing their backs, and me and the pre-k teacher, we were singing nursery rhymes that we learned all year. just trying to make them feel comfortable. and they were so brave. my husband came through the side door and he said, come here now! and i came out. and came around the corner, and the tornado was right there. >> right there. >> and so we banged on the door that was right there, and it happened to be erin's classroom. and the teacher let us in. and we went over and laid on top of the kids. and rode it out.
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>> pick up the story, steve. because you walked in. and i'm sure the words you used were pretty forceful. >> yeah. i wanted her to understand, it wasn't going to go around us, it was coming right for us. and we decided, well, definitely we don't have any time to take off and try to outrun it. so we jumped in the classroom. we all got down on our knees. and covered our heads. my wife was on top of erin, my youngest daughter, covering her. there were 12, 13 other kids and another teacher was in there with us. so we just waited for it to hit. when it hit, it was like the walls came in, everything that was in the classroom was on top of us basically. there was a lot of weight on us. and i was just trying to get out, trying to pull myself out of there as quickly as possible. >> how were the kids reacting to all of this? >> they were screaming. and crying. and we were just saying, it's
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okay, it's okay, you're going to be okay. we're here. we love you. they were just screaming. the worst screams. >> did you ever think the worst? >> we didn't think we were going to make it. >> really? >> yes. >> the noise, the level of the sound they say, it's like a train moving through. is that what it was like? >> very similar to that. like being in a wind tunnel. you can't hear a whole lot when it's on top of you. it was pretty tremendous. >> and when you think about, was it a lot of -- the girls can answer. did it seem like a long time that this was going on? >> well, at a point it did seem like it took forever for it to form, and for us to be in the bathroom. because that's where i was at. but then after it passed, it went a little bit quicker. >> then you walked outside of the school, and what did you see? >> i saw just the houses.
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they were gone. it was wood and all their belongings. it was just all -- >> what did you think? >> i thought, this -- i was thinking someone pinch me, this is a dream. >> more like a nightmare. >> yeah. >> like a bad dream. but all three of you girls are okay right now? >> yes. >> you're all lucky to have wonderful parents who love you very much. >> mm-hmm. >> what happens now? >> we'll be somewhere next year. we tonight knono. we don't know if they'll rebuild. they are going to rebuild, we just don't know how quickly, and where will all be. >> they've got to have the safe rooms in the schools. >> yes. >> even the old ones, they've got to spend the money, whatever it costs. >> oh, absolutely. >> we've had a lot of storms, tornadoes that have come through the same area. so i know we're going to put a storm sheltser in the house that
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we're buying for sure. that's my priority number one for us. >> your girls got se special things coming up for the summer this summer? >> i might go to florida on tuesday. >> wow. >> to my aunt and uncle. if i can still walk on my foot. >> you'll be all right. how does it feel to be on that picture over there? it must be pretty exciting? >> yeah. >> a picture that all of us will always remember. especially your parents. >> yeah. >> thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you for having us. >> and sharing your story. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and good luck to all of you. >> thank you. >> more news coming up, including a controversial bid for the new york city mayor. a very, very different kind of story. the governor of new york saying, shame on us if something happens. are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule.
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a sexting scandal seemingly ended the political career of anthony weerner of new york, but launched a return attempt by joining the mayoral race. he's getting to love from one fellow democrat, the governor of the state, andrew cuomo. jason carroll is joining us and has the latest information. jason, what happened? >> wolf, after what the governor said today, it's clear he does not support weiner and does not want anyone else to support him either. after an embarrassing headline, it makes for a rocky start to his campaign. but weiner said, do not count him out. not deterred by headlines, such
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as this, or missteps such as pittsburgh being used as a backdrop on his website, later fixed, former new york congressman anthony weiner looking for a second chance in politics, chose harlem as the first place to campaign. >> hey, guys. how are you? weiner was met by a crush of media. he shook every hand possible, carried a stroller into a subway and embraced voters who showed their support. >> how do you think it went today so far? >> i'll have a chance to tell everyone. i think it went well. >> reporter: so far, no major endorsements for weiner, not from any unions, not for the clintons. weiner's wife washorked for hily clinton and certainly not from andrew cuomo who slammed weaner in front of a group of newspaper editors saying "shame on us if voters elect him." >> democratic leaders are not going to risk anything by supporting weiner. it's not as though they don't
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have other very acceptable candidates. >> reporter: a poll conducted last week shows 49% of new yorkers do not want weiner to run for mayor versus 38% who do. he faired worse among women. 52% polled saying they would not support him. how do you overcome numbers like that as you begin your campaign? >> ultimately, this is day one or two of the campaign. one of the ways i do it is by seeing people. but also, you know, i frankly have been encouraged by having people say they're giving me a second chance and just listen to my ideas. >> this was my neighborhood growing up. >> reporter: weiner posted a video declaring his mayoral run overnight tuesday. that features his wife and shows weiner as the family man who cares about the middle class. no direct mention of the sexting scandal that led to his resignation. >> look, i made big mistakes and i let a lot of people down. i also learned tough lessons. >> xwet do voters think he learned enough? >> everybody deserves a second
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chance. >> he made one mistake. and out of most of the politicians, i think he was sincere. >> don't trust him. i'm not really sure why he gets back into the mix after being so, you know, exposed. >> look, there may be people who say they're not and who say they'll never vote for me. i get that. i respect. that people have a right to have that view. but even for those people, i want them to hear about what i have to say. >> reporter: wolf, despite the lack of endorsements, weiner has still raised almost $5 million for his campaign and polling shows him placing second in the eight candidate field for mayor. wolf? >> we'll see what's going to happen in new york. all right. thank you very much for that. up next, a popular family farm wiped out by the tornado and the fate of the many animals who live there. ♪ [ engine revs ] ♪
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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. the monster tornado in oklahoma destroyed a popular outing for family outings. a horse farm with a petting zoo and other attractions. dozens of animals died. people who feel a strong connection to the place they love very much, they still want to visit and they're now showing up to help rebuild it. our brian todd has the story. >> oh, my word. i haven't been up here yet. >> glenn orr walked slowly and sadly across the place he built his life around. >> look at that. that's awful. >> reporter: this is what is left of the orr family farm. where there was once a thriving horse training business and a separate track where families could feed and pet animals and take hay rides. there is now twisted metal, manning willed wood, a crushed
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carousel. orr and his extended family survived the tornado. but this man is clearly not the same person he was just a few days ago. >> when you think of how long it took you to build all this -- >> yeah. 40 years. it's tragic to think that it's all in shambleses. just in shambleses. there's not a building. >> half of orr's business is a horse training facility. owners rent out several barns and stalls. a track and arena. >> we're going to cross the orr family farm here. >> reporter: when the tornado struck, orr believes up to 100 horses in his compound may have been killed. while we were there, state officials were removing them in large trucks. veterinarian clayton mccook came to cook but did he more euthanizing than treatment. of the few that survived -- >> we saw everything from lacerated eyes and ears, mouth, all the way down their throat and neck. >> i've been doing this for a
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long time. anything prepare you for what you saw? >> no. no. i've seen lots of lacerations. i've seen lots of injuries that are traumatic. but never on a scale like that. >> look at this big rascal. >> the smaller creatures had sturdier structures. most of the animals in the petting zoo survived. this is where orr himself received solace right now. with so many horses gone, dr. orr sthez is going to be part of the business that helps them build back up. the petting zoo and feeding of these goats, sheep, chickens, pigs over here. this is what's going to build back the orr family farm. orr is buied by dozens of volunteers like ashton motel who feels a connection to the farm. >> i mainly came and volunteered because as a little kid i was in girl scouts and we just came out here all the time. almost every year. >> the return of so many whose lives he touched is overwhelming to glenn orr.
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>> there was a reason for the development of this place. sorry. >> reporter: as we parted, i asked him at this stage of his life does he have the strength to start again? >> that's difficult question. i think so. and the only reason why i think so is because of the support of the family. if i were doing it myself at my age, no. >> dr. orr says it's going to cost more than $1 million to get this place built back up. but even at 81 years old, he is very determined to do so. he says he's going to get it back up and running by september 1st. wolf? >> what a story, brian todd. thanks very much for sharing that. good luck to that entire, entire family. here's what you can do if you want to help the folks here in oklahoma. go to you can impact your world.
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lots of good opportunities there to do the right thing. i want you to do it. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer reporting from oklahoma. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> "outfront" next, president obama gives a major speech on terrorism. gitmo, drones, al qaeda. but do his claims add up? >> after a british soldier was hacked to death in broad daylight, authorities arrested two more men. how did police track them down so quickly. and an emotional reunion between students and teachers from plaza towers elementary. they meet for the first time since the tornado. let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, confronting president obama. so today the president delivered what had been billed